Late heartbreak for Diss in play-off clash with Chiswick

Diss on the front foot during Saturdays play-off showdown against Chiswick at Mackenders. Picture: J

Diss on the front foot during Saturdays play-off showdown against Chiswick at Mackenders. Picture: JOHN BULLOCH - Credit: Archant

Diss suffered play-off heartbreak as visitors Chiswick slotted over a late penalty to secure a place in London One North next season.

The clash between the teams who finished second in the London 2NE and 2NW sections was a keenly contested affair which looked to be heading into extra-time until a home infringement at a ruck proved decisive.

Ultimately the difference between the teams came down to a wonderfully organised Chiswick defence and their ability, when in possession, to retain the ball and play the percentage game in the second half.

All too often Diss failed to execute attacking moves due to poor handling or wrong choice of options in the off-load. That said, this was a full blooded and wonderfully contested encounter that fully represented a match of this stature.

Chiswick took an early 3-0 lead with a penalty. Diss responded immediately by laying siege to the West Londoners' line but eventually had to settle for a penalty of their own to bring the score back to 3-3.

Chiswick struck a key blow after 20 minutes by creating space through the middle that unleashed their inside-centre to score close to the posts, increasing the lead to 10-3.

As the half developed Diss adopted a tried and trusted approach through the tight eight and were eventually rewarded with a John Laurie try that wasn't converted, an aspect of the game which would come back to haunt Diss at a later stage.

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As the half drew to a conclusion the home support were very much aware that the normal route for Diss points was being nullified by a superb Chiswick defence and alarm bells were beginning to sound.

The second half proved a real battle of wits and patience and when Diss infringed again at a ruck Chiswick increased their lead to 13-8. Led by scrum-half Jamie Burroughs and Laurie, Diss rallied and following intense pressure on the visitors' line scored through the forwards to level the scores with minutes remaining.

The relatively simple conversion was missed and extra-time looked on the cards. But from the kick- off Diss failed to even compete for the ball and immediately infringed at the following ruck, allowing the Chiswick No 10 the opportunity to kick the winning points from 35 metres out. Chiswick deserved to win due to the fact that on the day they were more disciplined in defence and precise when in possession.

• Due to the bulk of their first XV being unavailable next Saturday Diss have decided to concede the Woodforde's Norfolk Senior Cup final to scheduled opponents North Walsham.

However to honour a commitment to the sponsors the Vikings have agreed to play a Presidents' XV at Mackenders and the trophy will be presented to the team after the game. The match will kick-off at 3pm.